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coming to berkeley march 2019.

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Featured on PBS and NPR as the “anti-echo chamber experience” the project is now running in the Bay Area as a Print Public project at Kala Art Institute. The project previously ran in the Midwest at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Why lunch?  Why now?   As we live in an age of digital media, some critics suggest we're now all living in our own echo chambers, surrounded by people just like ourselves. 

Or maybe you’re busy and don’t know the people who live just down the street. In an ideal world, you would be able to meet and talk to anyone. Sometimes we just need an analog excuse.  Everybody Eats Lunch is that excuse.

How do we pair people up? We are intentionally random in the pairing. We don’t ask your political affiliation, job, age or gender. The only thing we match you on is your preferred lunch food. If you say Macaroni, you get paired up with somebody who also said macaroni.  Simple right?

Where does the food come from?  The food is delicious. (Take a look at our restaurants page) Local restaurants donate their menu items and we serve it in our project space. Note: Just because you ask for pizza, doesn’t mean you’ll get pizza. It just means you’ll get someone who asked for the same thing. We are food allergy sensitive.

What happens when I sign up?  You’ll be called by us and we’ll blab to make sure you understand the project. We plan the lunch and you commit to showing up, We cannot promise a lunch to everybody who signs up, but there is a good chance you’ll get called! At the actual lunch, you’ll meet your stranger and have 75 minutes to eat and talk. We record the conversation and take photos. (We hang around nearby but not next to you at the table.) You feel like it’s a one-on-one conversation.

What is the outcome? A formal art exhibition at Kala Art Institute in Summer 2019. Beyond that, possibly a book. Possibly a podcast. We will know more once we do more lunches. But you'll instantly become part of a community of participants across the country.

Who's doing this project?  The project is 100% volunteer and artist-run, led by Bay Area artist & filmmaker Christy Chan. See STORIES to hear more about each volunteer’s journey on Lunch.

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Why did the artist start it? Good question. Christy was asked to come up with a radio storytelling idea by an NPR producer years ago, and this was an idea that surfaced. It seemed like a good idea at the time and when major art orgs offered to host the project, that’s when things took off. It was originally designed to be a podcast.

How do I sign up?  Click here.  Or follow us on Facebook if you'd like.

The future of lunch is you: Feel inspired? We see this project being duplicated in multiple cities, by everyday people who want to take the ball and run with it. You don’t have to be an artist or chef. If you are interested in becoming an organizer for this project in your hometown, talk to us. We are creating a template for motivated people to run this project anytime, anywhere. The ingredients for this project are simple: People, food, sweat and commitment.

Is this an experiment?  Yes.

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All photos on this site shot by Alex Matzke, Christy Chan, and Ryan Henrikson.